Sleep studies are a series of tests that help evaluate what happens to the body during sleep. Sleep studies are done to diagnose sleep disorders, which typically include:
- Sleep disordered breathing, which may be caused by certain obstructive or central nervous system disorders.
- Problems staying awake (from conditions such as narcolepsy).
- Problems with sleep-disruptive behaviors (such as sleepwalking, night terrors, or bed-wetting).
- Problems with daytime sleepiness or insomnia (from conditions such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome).
What happens during a Sleep Study?
A Sleep Study is simple and painless and is conducted in a comfortable bed in a private bedroom at FirstHealth Moore Regional, Montgomery Memorial or Richmond Memorial hospitals. Dime-size sensors attached to different points on your body provide a continuous record of your brain waves, muscle activity, leg and arm movements, heart rhythms and other functions as you sleep.
Stretch bands may be placed around your chest and abdomen to measure the effort you make to breathe. A bandage-like sensor will be placed on your finger to measure your oxygen level.
How long does the study take?
Usually, you will arrive between 8 and 9 p.m. the night of the study and leave by 7 a.m. the next morning. However, your sleep may also be studied the next day through a series of naps offered at two-hour intervals. This study, known as an MSLT test, measures daytime sleepiness that is often associated with sleep apnea or narcolepsy, which is a neurological disorder.
What are the benefits of a Sleep Study?
A Sleep Study records many variables of sleep. Measurements of the amounts of deep sleep you get help determine causes of insomnia. Awakenings, breathing cessation (sleep apnea) and abnormal heart rhythms will be recorded and help your physician target treatment. Untreated sleep disorders can lead to potentially life-threatening situations. Untreated sleep apnea, for example, is associated with increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
What makes the FirstHealth Sleep Centers unique?
At the FirstHealth Sleep Centers your wellbeing is important to us. To ensure your comfort, the FirstHealth Sleep Centers offer the following:
- Private, comfortable bedroom
- Private, handicapped accessible bathroom with shower
- Soundproofing to ensure quiet
- Personal control of bedroom light, sound and temperature
- Complimentary breakfast and lunch if a follow-up daytime study is required